Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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The Free Land Homestead Act of 1872 entitled every immigrant 21 years of age and over, later lowered to 18, to a quarter section of land to homestead in the Northwest Territories. There was a $10. office fee to register the homestead entry.

It was considered the first year ifthe homestead entry was taken out before September first. If after this date the homesteader had until the first of June the following year to get his breaking done.

The homesteader had to take up residence on the land within six months of entry. He or she had to reside on the land for six months of every year.

During the first year at least five acres had to be broken. In the second year these five acres had to be cropped and not less than an additional 10 acres broken. During the second year a dwelling had to be built and occupied by the end of the third year. At the end of three years 25-30 acres were to be under crop and 10 acres under cultivation.

During the first year the homesteader was to have five head of stock. There were to be 10 head of stock during the second year and 16 head of stock before homestead patent could be granted. All animals except sheep and hogs were counted as one head of stock. It took 10 sheep or 10 hogs, or 10 sheep and hogs to equal one head of livestock.

If the homesteader met these requirements at the end of three years he could apply for patent for his land. If it was not patented in five years it could be forfeited.

At the same time as the homesteader applied for homestead entry he could apply for pre-emption if a~other adjacent quarter section was available by paymg the $10. office fee.

He had to live on either the homestead or pre-emption for three years after he received the homestead patent for the original land. There was to be at least 50 acres under cultivation on either homestead or pre-emption. Thirty of these acres were to be seeded. He also had to have at least 24 head of stock.

The homesteader had to pay for this preemption quarter. The price varied for this preemption quarter from $2$3 per acre depending upon the location. One third of the amount had to be paid by the end of the third year. The remainder was to be paid in five equal payments. He had eight years to meet these requirements. Thus, in actuality, the homesteader had 13 years to qualify for his half section. You will notice on the Survey Maps that often next to the homestead the quarter was purchased by the same person. In most cases this would be pre-emption land.

In the beginning government land could also be bought for one dollar per acre up to the limit of 640 acres.

In 1881 the boundaries of the Province of Manitoba were extended to its present location and in the north to 520 20'' of latitude.

The right to homestead land was in effe-ct until 1930. If you were a First World War veteran who served overseas and had an honourable discharge you could homestead. Very little good land was left. In 1919 a Soldier Settlement Act also provided veterans who wished to farm with loans to purchase land, stock and equipment. Because of the heavy debt load and the drought during the 30''s many had to abandon their dream of farming.

The Veteran''s Land Act of 1942 allowed war veterans of the Second World War to buy land with only a small down payment and a government loan at a small interest rate. They could also borrow additional funds for equipment and livestock. This enabled them to become established without a heavy financial drain.

Some war veterans of Brookdale area took advantage of these two acts to buy their land.


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